Top 35 launches service in wake of CMA concerns over service & price transparency of law firms

09/08/2018 Will Sidery

With less than six months to go until the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Looking to the Future Programme comes into force, a new online service has launched designed to directly address the CMA’s concerns regarding price and service quality transparency.

The service, MyLegalAdviser, helps clients find high quality, affordable and local legal representation within hours by passing on their job requests to registered solicitors in the area to bid for the work.

Rather than each law firm across England and Wales publishing a list of estimated prices for its services on its own site and expecting clients to visit them all before making a decision, MyLegalAdviser lets solicitors accurately quote for new business based on detailed and specific briefs provided by the site’s growing customer-base. 

This is aimed at not only giving the users full transparency over how much the legal support will cost, but it gives law firms access to a new channel for generating a high volume of new business.

In addition to providing prices for specific jobs, solicitors are also required to share customer reviews and ratings. This provides users with confidence of the quality and abilities of the solicitors they choose to appoint.

Alec Alston of law firm Alston Asquith said: “Although the site launched only recently, my firm has already seen a significant increase in new business activity. The idea of publishing fixed fees for the complex legal work we do feels irresponsible whereas MyLegalAdviser lets us give each and every one of the customers it sends our way an accurate price for the work they need because we have so much information to work with. This is the transparency clients need.”

MyLegalAdviser was set up by 2014 eprivateclient Top 35 under 35 and ex-solicitor Alex Boothman in response to the CMA’s report in 2016. Supporting the report’s findings that the process of finding a good lawyer at a reasonable price had become too difficult, he launched the business to make matching clients with quality legal support simple and straightforward for all involved.

Unlike other lead generation techniques such as PR and advertising, it’s free for solicitors to register on MyLegalAdviser and bid for jobs. Once a client posts a job on the platform, it’s circulated to suitable lawyers (on an anonymised basis) to review and quote on it if they’re interested. Clients review quotes and profiles from interested lawyers and shortlist those they’re interested to be put in touch, at which point the lawyer pays a small introductory fee. This means lawyers only pay to market to warm and verified leads.

Raminder Uberoi of law firm Starck Uberoi said: “We used to spend a significant sum on marketing activities to get no more than a few poor quality leads. MyLegalAdviser frequently sends us serious opportunities that take a couple minutes of effort to convert into clients at an average cost far lower than any other service we’ve tried.”

Mr Boothman commented: “If you’ve never used a lawyer before or you use them all the time, finding legal support can be daunting. There are so many different types of lawyer out there that it’s difficult for many people to know what they need. At the most stressful of times – divorce, property purchase, loss of a loved one – you need the best legal support there is, but the industry has made it almost impossible for clients to find it.

“Law firms typically spend very little, if anything, on marketing because the setup costs are high and the returns on investment just aren’t there. MyLegalAdviser gives solicitors a highly effective way of reaching new customer groups at a very low cost per acquisition rate and lets them be truly open and transparent with every new customer that comes their way.”

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